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Slideshow: Cat Survives Severe Chemical Burns

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 3:30pm
Slideshow: Cat Survives Severe Chemical Burns

When ASPCA staffer Rena Lafaille saw a veterinarian cradling a tiny animal in her arms, she wondered, “Is that a turkey? What’s a turkey doing at the ASPCA Adoption Center?”

Then she realized: The tiny animal was in fact a cat—one who had suffered severe chemical burns on her back, scalp and other parts of her body. Kylie’s ears were singed off, and she couldn’t walk or close her red and cloudy eyes.

“My heart was completely broken,” remembers Rena, ASPCA Adoption Center Department Coordinator. “Ever since that moment, I’d go visit her when I was done with my office work, for 30 minutes to an hour.”

Late last year, Kylie was found hiding behind some bushes, quietly suffering, when two dogs sniffed her out while out on a walk. The dogs’ pet parent took the first step toward saving Kylie’s life: He brought her to ASPCA Animal Hospital. But Kylie’s struggle was far from over, and our veterinary staff didn’t know if she’d pull through.

“It was really touch-and-go with Kylie because she’d lost so much skin,” recalls ASPCA veterinarian Dr. Patricia Wagner, who treated Kylie. “We didn’t know if she’d be able to blink, or walk, ever again.”

Kylie needed several surgeries, specialist care and extensive treatment for her injuries. She spent months at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where everyone fell in love with Kylie and her sweet, patient personality. “Everyone knew who Kylie was,” says Dr. Wagner. “There were so many people here pulling for her. We didn’t want to fail.”

Then one day it was clear to our veterinarians that Kylie’s recovery had turned a corner—she was out of the woods. In fact, Kylie was ready to continue her recovery in a foster home. Rena’s was an obvious choice. Rena began fostering Kylie in February, eagerly taking on the medical regime her new foster kitty required: pain medicine, fish oil and eye drops, all twice a day on a rigid schedule. To protect Kylie’s burns and promote healing, Rena purchased her a T-shirt. When the shirt didn’t quite fit, Kylie had it tailored.

Today, Kylie is an integral part of Rena’s family and fast friends with Lafaille cats Gizmo and Cleopatra, a Beagle called Maya, and Baby Jin, a four-and-a-half-pound Chihuahua who is her playmate and constant companion. Rena continues to work with Dr. Wagner on Kylie’s treatment, and they’re hopeful she won’t need medication one day.

“Kylie will never, ever give up no matter what,” Rena says. “It was her spirit that got her through this. She’s really an incredible cat.”

We can’t think of a better example of the animals our members’ support touches. If you haven’t lately, please consider making a gift to the ASPCA today. You’ll assist animals like Kylie—those already fortunate enough to be in our care, and those still waiting for our help.

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Emma

Dear Rena, Thank you for these remarkable photos. It chills me to the bone to realize that some sadist must have done this to beautiful Kylie. I am glad your story does not dwell on that pathetic cruelty but emphasizes the goodness of the doctors at the Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, your extraordinary love and devotion, and all the kind people who pulled and continue to pull for Kylie, starting with the good man who discovered her suffering in the bushes and did not abandon her. It is a miracle that she can see. I cannot imagine what this tiny, precious animal has endured. It breaks my heart and renders me speechless. I love Kylie, am inspired by her beautiful face and spirit, her adorable little t-shirts, her friendships with your sweet animal family. I hope that she will be able to be taken off her pain meds and cease the arduous treatments very, very soon, so that she can live her life with the joy and trust and care she richly deserves. Thank you, Rena, for being Kylie's beloved guardian angel. This is a deeply moving story that changes the way we think and live our lives.

Sharon

I agree completely with Emma's eloquent remarks. Thank you ASPCA for all you do. Your organization is a bright point of love and light in the world.

Sharon Christian

I also agree with the other Sharon's comments. Hope and pray that this recovery will continue to be outstanding!!!!

Kim

Yes I also agree with Sharon and Emma's comments. Thank you everyone and ASPCA for giving beautiful Kylie a chance at being loved and nurtured. My heart really hurts when I read stories such as this. I don't understand how anyone could hurt a beautiful being such as Kylie. God Bless you all!!! <3

Ms Randy

I too agree with Emma's eloquent remarks. I have been following 'Ella's Story' on fb. She was a beautiful deer that lived in a cemetery and greeted visitors. She became very popular and famous. Someone shot her. I am hesitant to share Kylie's story for fear some deranged teen will try to do the same thing to some other innocent creature. Several deer guard over the graves where my sister is buried. I've taken their pictures and posted them on fb, but I refuse to disclose the location, in order to keep them safe. We must walk a fine line in what we share, I think.

S. O. Rooney

You are so right, Ms Randy. In promoting love and welfare for animals, we unfortunately have to be careful that we don't expose them to some sick sadist. It's a sad world.

suz

What really needs to be done is make the laws punish those that do crimes like this. It's a very sick person that can do things like this to animals. Our justice system is broken and has been for a very long time. We need better judges and lawyers that will follow through for crimes like these. Animal abuse is the first step before they do it do a human. Let your voices be heard for those that can't speak.

Janet

I totally agree. Here in Chesterfield County a beloved horse was shot and killed by an unknown creep who must be found and punished. i am also sickened by sadistic, cruel people who maim and torture--or kill-- animals. Humans can be angels or devils in their treatment of animals. Understanding why should be a major part of brain study.

AMC

So sad! When we got our cat Nala from the shelter she was got really scared when we tried to pet her.

Kathy

It's disgusting the way in which these beautiful creatures are often treated !! I always believe that "what goes around, comes around

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